The Importance of Quarantine - New Outbreak of 'Sunshine Virus'

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by The Reptile Outlet, May 24, 2012.

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  1. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    Why would you want to in instruct people to believe what they want based on whatever they choose as the basis. That is both irrational and irresponsible. People should be advised to draw their own conclusions from the known facts, nothing more, nothing less. And surely the forum is the most appropriate place to assist people to do that.

    I understand your desire to curb any hysteria or over reaction that these issues can often generate. However, saying it is all crap, denying the established facts and blaming vets in general for the over-reaction which hasn’t even occurred yet, is an emotive response lacking in thought and consideration of the ramifications, as well as disappointingly incorrect for someone of your reputation.

    I have made the relevant points in my previous post. Feel free to challenge any or all. Whilst we may seem at loggerheads I am confident we both share the desire – to see common sense prevail.

    Blue
     
  2. Sdaji regards himself as the scientific reference point for reptile keepers, and a cut above most keepers - we should all sit in hushed awe when he makes his pronouncements... Sorry buddy, but you're an egotistical prat, and always have been. I'm not sooking by the way matey - I never do...

    Jamie
     
  3. drsimpson

    drsimpson Not so new Member

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    Hi all,
    I tend to stay off the forums because it tends to do my head in with all the incorrect medical information/treatment/diagnosis/delays in appropriate treatment that gets posted but I was alerted to this thread by a couple of people. As the co-author of the article that appeared in Scales and Tails I would like to make a few comments and pose a few questions.

    Firstly the reason for the article was to present the FACTS about what is CURRENTLY known about the viral situation in snakes in this country. For too long assumptions and heresay have been rampant about this issue. The article wa never designed to create mass hysteria amongst keepers but you should all be aware of this virus and if it does nothing than do this then the article has achieved its goal. This is not a trivial matter as some have made it out to be on this thread. This virus has the very real potential of killing off collections (in fact it has already has done so) and ignore it at your peril. This virus is unlikely to wipe out the entire snake population in Australia but for those who have lost snakes to it it is devastating.

    As vets we would never claim to know everything. In fact it would be stupid to do so. New information is always coming to hand through great research by dedicated people. This is called scientific advancement...What we now know may prove to be incorrect in 5 years, 10 years or even 20 years time. As we develop better diagnostic tests (such as the PCR test to detect Sunshine virus) more and more information will come to light. The Earth used to be flat...

    The issue of Sunshine virus does raise some questions about expos, the selling and buying of snakes and of course quarantine. I do not pretend to know all the answers but I would suggest that collectively we can all have an input into this topic for the betterment of the hobby and more importantly the health of those animals we are responsible for. Viruses are complex things in just about everyway eg. transmission, incubation, why some animals get sick and others don't. There is still much to learn and it is why Tim, myself and many othere reptile vets do what we do. We want to learn and be able to educate people about the facts. If I wasn't learning all the time I would be bored out of my brain!

    Sdaji... to be honest I am a little offended with your comments regarding vets. You have obviously not had a good experience somewhere along the way but please do not generalise your comments in such a way. There are some excellent reptile vets in this country who do a lot of great work. I know (as my family do to!) how much effort I have put in over my 17 years of being a vet to develop my skills and knowledge in the field of reptile medicine and surgery. This will be the same for all other reptile vets in the country. Others have defended Tim and his research and I will 100% support these comments. I have had the pleasure of working with Tim on a number of cases in the past few years and am in awe of his level of knowledge about viral disease in reptiles. I do not think any of us appreciate just how lucky we are to have him in the country and doing what he does. His work is truly ground breaking and only yesterday I found out he is presenting his findings at an international reptile vet conference later in the year. I asked him to co-author the article because he could provide all the technical, factual information that it needed.

    Sdaji, I am very perplexed by your comment above: "It doesn't take a smart person to see that the claims about this 'new sunshine virus' are silly, but it takes a stupid or naive person to miss it" Are you intimating that what has been discovered and presented is silly? What claims are you referring to? Have you actually read the article????? Are you suggesting Tim, myself or all the other scientists that have done work in the field of reptile virology are stupid or naive?

    I remind everyone if you have any further specific questions from reading the article please contact Scales and Tails as soon as possible. They are collating the questions and I will be answering those in the next edition. I have also posted all the references used to write the article, along with some further information about testing snakes on my website and you can find that here.

    Nothing wrong with healthy debate but let's make sure it is based on scientific fact...

    Regards,
    Dr Shane Simpson
     
  4. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    Shane,
    While I do not know you personally, I do have the opinions of respected others to go by. Putting that aside, I can only commend you on your comments and the personal restraint you have exercised in this process. To be only “a little offended” by the demeaning and derogatory comments that were aimed at yourself, amongst others, clearly indicates a desire to elevate the debate above personal feelings. I tip my hat to you and am pleased acknowledge that your displayed attitude in this regard confirms the opinions garnered from others that I referred to earlier. You are indeed a professional.

    The only thing I would say is in regard to the following comment you made: “What we now know may prove to be incorrect in 5 years, 10 years or even 20 years time.” I think this needs some expanding on so that those of a non-scientific background may properly understand what you were attempting to convey. Scientists work with the facts that they have. Those facts don’t change or become wrong over time. With any investigation of a biological nature, the initial sampling and available evidence is limited. Over time, with extended sampling, it may become apparent that what was has initially been observed is not a generalised phenomena. It may only apply to a select group or to a select set of circumstances. Consequently our understanding of the causative nature is adjusted accordingly.

    As Shane indicated, the complexities involved are considerable and our understandings at this point in time are limited. Irrespective, it would quite simply be irresponsible not to let the snake keeping community know what the researchers have discovered to date. I don’t have issue with a guarded response from individuals reading about these facts for the first time. However, the reaction of some who were totally dismissive of the facts and simultaneously denigrated those being professional enough to present them, did need to be addressed and put into the correct perspective.

    Blue
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2012
  5. CrystalMoon

    CrystalMoon Reptile Lover Subscriber

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    I have at best average intelligence at worst "suspect" intelligence...... I am absolutely 100% grateful and appreciative to any and all that can help me understand and thus care/protect my animals(scaley/feathery and furred)from new and old threats(disease/husbandry issues) No matter the field/industry you will get bad advice/service however it would be a little silly to no longer go to or heed Doctors/vets/other service providers through a bad experience or bad advice etc Personally I dont care if things are hyped up or dramatized if it means I maybe better informed to care for and protect my Family(human and critters) Quite frankly it was the first mention of the Sunshine virus(and a surprise case of mites in a new addition)that made me really THINK about quarantine and how critical it is to the well being of my scaley kids. I am relatively new to keeping Pythons and thought I was providing adequate quarantine, on further research I realize I was only providing minimum quarantine.....Thanks to experienced members on here and to the articles in Scales and Tales(amongst other literature)I feel confident I am now doing my best for my Scaley guys :)
    A big thank-you from us.....
     
  6. shaneb

    shaneb Not so new Member

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    ...
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
  7. -Peter

    -Peter Guest

    They are stating their position based on reason with the information available to them.
     
  8. Thank you for your input Shane. I am sorry that my stated support for Dr Hyndman led to some fairly personal backhanders from that member, aimed at both Tim and myself. I would like to point out that this researcher, and certainly others, are modest, extremely hard working and conscientious, and they are of necessity conservative in their assessments of their work. What they are dealing with is just as complex and the work as time consuming as it is with any human viral disease.

    They deserve the fullest support from the reptile keeping community.

    Jamie
     
  9. MR_IAN_DAVO

    MR_IAN_DAVO Well-Known Member

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    Apart from the Sunshine virus or any others,even opmv or what some might call normal RI. One should keep clean & ideal conditions for their reptiles.
    It is a belief of mine that reptiles can retain (say as an example, store) a disease or even something as simple as RI until a complex situation arrises. That might be transportation or being housed simply in a different cage & environment, mostly obviouse with adults that then become ill & die?

    This is just my observations & just my opinion. Young snakes generally no problem, but older snakes can react & set off an attack.

    Cheers
    Ian
     
  10. drsimpson

    drsimpson Not so new Member

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    Just a quick thank you for the positive comments and input on this discussion. Much appreciated!

    @Blue: Exactly!!!
    The only thing I would say is in regard to the following comment you made: “What we now know may prove to be incorrect in 5 years, 10 years or even 20 years time.” I think this needs some expanding on so that those of a non-scientific background may properly understand what you were attempting to convey. Scientists work with the facts that they have. Those facts don’t change or become wrong over time. With any investigation of a biological nature, the initial sampling and available evidence is limited. Over time, with extended sampling, it may become apparent that what was has initially been observed is not a generalised phenomena. It may only apply to a select group or to a select set of circumstances. Consequently our understanding of the causative nature is adjusted accordingly.

    @Ian: Appreciate your thoughts. My opinion is a little different though. It is certainly theorectically possible that reptiles of any sort can be carriers of certain diseases (though this has yet to be proven with Sunshine virus). Personally I think what tends to happen is that when an animal is kept in sub-optimal conditions (eg. too cold, too dry, poor light cycles, poor diet etc) over a period of time this causes stress. This in turn causes the animal to become immunocompromised. The result of this is that bacteria and other organisms that normally live within the body can evade the immune system and become pathogenic (ie. disease causing). Why do I think this? Because when actual testing is done on many of these animals (unfortunately most often on post-mortem) the organisms identified are those we normally find in the gut and lungs. Something has happened to allow them to cause disease. Example: Salmonella killing a reptile when we know that many, many normal healthy reptiles carry different forms of Salmonella. Another example is shell rot in turtles. Normal healthy turtles with good diets, water quality etc still are swimming around in their toilets and don't get shell rot. Poor water quality over time leads to stress. Turtle develops shell rot. Cultures from shell lesions show that the organisms are those that we would normally find in the enclosure.

    Thanks again,
    Shane
     
  11. Jungle_Freak

    Jungle_Freak Very Well-Known Member

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    This section in red is spot on IMO ...
    Good job Shane.

    cheers
    Roger
     
  12. drsimpson

    drsimpson Not so new Member

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  13. Wild~Touch

    Wild~Touch Very Well-Known Member

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    Very much appreciated thank you Doc.Shane


    Cheers
    Sandee :)
     
  14. Ramsayi

    Ramsayi Very Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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  15. drsimpson

    drsimpson Not so new Member

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    Yes there is a test available for both Sunshine virus and Ferlavirus.
    Get yourself a copy of the lastest edition of Scales and Tails magazine and all the details are discussed in the article.
    Further information regarding testing, including a video on how it should be done, can be found on my website here.

    Shane
     
  16. moussaka

    moussaka Active Member

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